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Report: Yankees scouting Indians’ top pitching prospect

The Yankees have yet to make it clear if trading reliever Andrew Miller is a decision fit for this summer, but perhaps general manager Brian Cashman is beginning to do some homework on the matter.

Over the weekend, Yankees scouts were spotted in Syracuse to watch the Washington Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate, but on Tuesday afternoon, scouts headed south to Delaware to watch Cleveland Indians’ left-handed pitching prospect Justus Sheffield, according to ESPN’s Keith Law.

Sheffield, 20, tossed 6.2 scoreless innings for Class-A Lynchburg, striking eight while allowing only four hits and three walks. According to MLB.com, Sheffield is ranked as Cleveland’s fifth-best prospect, which includes a scouting report from MLB Pipeline written earlier this season:

Sheffield shows the makings of an above-average three-pitch mix. He’s hit 96 mph with his fastball but usually sits in the 92-93 mph range with late, arm-side life and some sink. His curveball flashes plus and projects as a swing-and-miss offering at the highest level, and he made strides developing his changeup in 2015.

A good athlete with a clean and repeatable delivery, Sheffield floods the zone with all his pitches but needs to improve the quality of his strikes.At 5-foot-10, Sheffield is somewhat undersized but still creates good downhill plane toward the plate and keeps the ball in the yard. Both his secondary pitches and his command require further refinement, but the southpaw has all the tools necessary to develop into a quality mid-rotation starting pitcher.

The Yankees’ rumored attention to the Indians’ farm system is only in its early stages. On Monday night, Fox Sports insider Ken Rosenthal reported that Cleveland has listed Andrew Miller as a ‘primary target’ to acquire this July, which could explain New York’s due diligence in seeking intelligence on the American League Central leader.

Sheffield, who is also the nephew of former Yankees slugger Gary Sheffield, was drafted 31st overall by Cleveland in the 2014 draft, and was ranked the 81st best prospect in baseball entering 2016, according to Baseball America.

Entering Tuesday, Sheffield owned a 3.81 ERA after 17 starts, but had struck out 79 hitters in 82.2 innings.